Cringe: (v) to cower in fear
My last name is spelled C-R-I-N-G.
Throughout my entire life, people have mispronounced it as C-R-I-N-G-E.
Though I try to be understanding, I do not comprehend why they don’t see that the pronunciation is merely “ring” with a C in front—Cring.
Or why not look at the name and do that beautiful, humble piece of humanity:
“Could you help me with the pronunciation of your name, so I don’t mutilate it?”
But many, many, many folk go ahead and pronounce it “Cringe,” and then are surprised when I correct them, exhibiting a mixture of, “Why don’t you get a better last name?” and “What’s the big deal?”
Well, you see, the big deal is that I do not want to be named after a word which connotes that I cower in fear. I have purposely avoided fear in my life and have certainly never adopted a profile of cowering.
This experience taught me one piece of wisdom.
Audacity rarely has virtue.
It is much too sure of itself.
It is self-reliant and often brash.
The amount of humility it takes to be certain about someone’s name is equivalent to the amount of progress you’re going to make as a human being in our tribe.
If you’re not sure, just ask.
Don’t take a stab at it.
Because like most stabs, it can really hurt.